Diesel Engine Basics

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A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses compression ignition to ignite the fuel as it is injected into the engine.


It is helpful to an understanding of how diesel engines work to compare the differences between a diesel engine and a gasoline engine. The main differences between a gasoline engine and a diesel engine are:

  • A gasoline engine takes a mixture of gas and air, compresses it, and ignites the mixture with a spark. A diesel engine takes air, compresses it, and then injects fuel into the compressed air. The heat of the compressed air ignites the fuel spontaneously. A diesel engine does not contain a spark plug.

  • A gasoline engine compresses at a ratio of 8:1 to 12:1, while a diesel engine compresses at a ratio of 14:1 to as high as 25:1. The higher compression ratio of the diesel engine leads to better efficiency.

  • Gasoline engines generally use either carburetion, in which the air and fuel are mixed long before the air enters the cylinder, or port fuel injection, in which the fuel is injected just prior to the intake stroke (outside the cylinder). In a gasoline engine, therefore, all of the fuel is loaded into the cylinder during the intake stroke and then compressed. The compression of the fuel/air mixture limits the compression ratio of the engine - if it compresses the air too much, the fuel/air mixture spontaneously ignites and causes knocking. Diesel engines use direct fuel injection i.e. diesel fuel is injected directly into the cylinder. A diesel engine compresses only air, so the compression ratio can be much higher. The higher the compression ratio, the more power generated.

  • Diesel fuel injectors, unlike gasoline injectors, must be able to withstand the temperature and pressure inside the cylinder and still deliver the fuel in a fine mist. To ensure that the mist is evenly distributed throughout the cylinder, some diesel engines are equipped with special induction valves or pre-combustion chambers. Newer diesel engines are equipped with high-pressure common rail fuel systems. See Diesel Fuel System Basics for more information on this type of fuel system.

  • Diesel engines may be equipped with a glow plug. When a diesel engine is cold, the compression process may not raise the air temperature high enough to ignite the fuel. The glow plug is an electrically heated wire that facilitates fuel ignition when the engine is cold. Glow plugs are typically found on small diesel engines. Gasoline engines do not require glow plugs as they do not rely on spontaneous combustion.

Welder Generators: What You Need To Know

Why have one when you can have two? A welder generator appeals to the value-seeker in every one of us. But it doesn’t stop there – with manufacturers packing even more tools into a generator unit, we can now get more bang for our buck than ever before.

Here, we reveal what you need to know about these multi-tasking powerhouses…

What is a Welder Generator?

A welder generator creates power for welding without reliance on mains electricity. Simply fill up the fuel tank, just as you would for a regular generator, and the welder generator will power your welding equipment wherever you need it. As a result, welder generators have become essential equipment for constructions sites, farms, industry and more.

Can I use a welder generator as a generator?

Sure can! One of the biggest advantages of a welder generator is that it can be used as a stand-alone generator. This saves you space, money and hassle in running two separate machines. So when you aren’t using the machine for welding, you can use the generator power for work lights, emergency power or to run power tools. You can plug tools and appliances directly into its outlets as normal.

What else can a welder generator do?

Advances in manufacturing means you can now get 2-in-1, 3-in-1 and even 4-in-1 machines (known as ‘workstation generators’). Take the Crommelins 7kVA 3 in 1 workstation – it houses a welder, generator and battery charger in one powerful yet surprisingly compact unit. The welder generator delivers a maximum output of 5600 watts together with 60-180 amp welding capacity and 12 – 24V battery charger. There are also 4-in-1 options with everything you could need for a demanding jobsite; that is, a generator, welder, compressor and batter charger. Isn’t technology great?

The most common choice of welder generator is the conventional model such as the Gentech 7kVA Welder Generator Powered by Honda. This is our best seller for farmers, tradies and serious DIY’ers who just want a tough, reliable welder generator unit. The other popular welder generator model is the Powerlite 7kVA Welder Generator, also powered by Honda.

Air-Cooled Engines

All engines are air-cooled, but some, like the two-cyle engines in your chainsaw and leaf blower, pass their heat directly into the air, while others, like the engine in your Studebaker, give up their heat to a liquid coolant, which releases it into the air through a heat exchanger--the radiator.
But to keep things simple, we use the term "air-cooled" to describe any engine without water jackets in the block (and head, if applicable), and "water-cooled or liquid-cooled" to describe engines with a cooling system that circulates liquid.

Air-cooled engines have fins cast into their cylinders and cylinder heads that give the engine greater surface area through which cool air can pass.

As air passes over and through the fins, the engine's heat dissipates into the air.

Air-cooled VW, Porsche and Corvair engines needed this air/oil cooling arrangement because they were rear mounted and wrapped in body work that prevented air from circulating freely around the cylinders. Also, as engines grow larger in displacement, it becomes increasingly difficult to cool them with air alone.
All air-cooled engines are hailed for their simplicity, ease of maintenance and ruggedness. In the early part of the last century, air-cooling was believed by some to be the future of automotive engine design because it eliminated the complicated and troublesome cooling system. But advances in chemistry and cooling-system design made liquid cooling practical.
Liquid cooling is used in all but small single-cylinder two-strokes and four-strokes today (like your lawn and garden equipment or chainsaw) because it keeps engine temperatures uniform under a wider variety of conditions, which takes the guesswork out of tuning an engine for power and emissions.

What are Different Types of Engine – Complete Explanation

In this article, we will learn about different types of engine. The classification of the engines depends upon the types of fuel used, cycle of operation, number of strokes, type of ignition, number of cylinders, arrangement of cylinders, valve arrangement, types of cooling etc. these engines are used in different areas such as in automotive industries, aircraft industries, marine industries, etc. according to their suitability they are used in different areas. So let's discuss about different engine types one by one.

(i). External combustion engine: In external combustion engine, the combustion of fuel takes place outside the engine. Example: steam engine.

(ii). Internal combustion engine: In internal combustion engine, the combustion of fuel takes place inside the engine. Two stroke and four stroke petrol and diesel engine are the examples of internal combustion engine.

(i). Reciprocating engine: In reciprocating engine, there is a piston and cylinder, the piston does reciprocating (to and Fro) motion within the cylinder. Due to the reciprocating motion of the piston, it is called reciprocating engine. 2 stroke and four stroke engines are the common examples of reciprocating engine.

(ii). Rotary engine: In rotary engine, the rotor does rotary motion to produce power. There is no reciprocating motion. A rotor is present in the chamber which does rotary motion inside a chamber. Wankel rotary engine , turbine engines are the rotary types of engine.

(i). Petrol engine: The engine which uses petrol for its working is called petrol engine.

(ii). Diesel engine: The engine which uses diesel for its working is called diesel engine.

(iii). Gas engine: An engine using gas fuel for the working is called gas engine.

Portable Generator Maintenance: Oil And Fuel

When preparing your portable generator for use, especially when being used as a backup power source, It is important to perform proper maintenance. There are many components that you must maintain on your generator, but we're going to focus on two of the most important: oil and fuel. Here are some important tips to remember when maintaining your portable generator:

1. OIL

It's essential to maintain your generator by regularly servicing the oil in the engine. The last thing you want during an emergency is to have your portable generator's engine shut down from lack of oil. Especially when you're relying on it to power necessary appliances in your home.

Every time you used your generator, you should check the engine oil level. Usually every 100 hours—or every season—you should change the oil. However, if you use your portable generator in any extreme conditions, such as in a dirty or dusty environment, or in extremely hot weather, you should change the oil more frequently. Additionally, when disposing of oil, make sure to return it to a collection center to avoid pollution.


Before we talk about maintenance for your fuel, let's discuss the fuel requirements for your portable generator:

Use clean, fresh, unleaded gasoline

Fuel must have a minimum rating of 87 octane/87 AKI

While up to 10% ethanol is acceptable, non-ethanol-premium fuel is recommended

DO NOT use E85, gas/oil mix, or modify the engine to run on alternate fuels

Depending on the portable generator model, you will either need to keep an eye on the fuel gauge, or you will need to manually check the fuel level. When refueling, you should always turn the generator off and let it cool down a bit first. This will allow hot components to cool and avoid a fire if gasoline is splashed or spilled.

When you're not using the portable generator consistently, it is recommended you start and run it for a half hour every thirty days as a way of “exercising” the generator. If you are storing your generator between uses, make sure it's in a dry, safe place to prevent moisture, which can cause rust to accumulate in the fuel tank. Here a just a few more guidelines to follow:

Add fuel stabilizer if your portable generator is being stored for over 30 days

If fuel stabilizer is added, prepare and run the engine for long term storage

Run the engine for 10-15 minutes to circulate the stabilizer

Do NOT store fuel from one season to the next unless properly treated with fuel stabilizer

If fuel stabilizer is not used, drain the fuel tank prior to storage.